Information 'Liberacion'

Mark Hagland | Healthcare Informatics | December 1, 2011
A Federal Healthcare it Leader Shares his Perspectives on ACOs, Innovation, and Information Diffusion

On Wednesday, Oct. 5, Todd Park, chief technology officer of the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) helped open the Merge Live 2011 Client Conference, a user-group conference sponsored by the Chicago-based Merge Healthcare in downtown Chicago.

Park's rousing speech laying out a vision for how HHS can help to create a climate of, and opportunities for, healthcare IT innovation industry-wide, was energetic, yet specific, and led his audience of about 500 healthcare IT leaders to give him a standing ovation. Stating more than once that, "This is not your father's HHS!" Park articulated for his audience a three-pronged overall strategy coming out of HHS for leveraging information technology and the web to improve patient care quality and efficiency and make the healthcare system more accountable, transparent, and responsive to healthcare consumers' needs.

"There are three big things" HHS is moving forward on. Park said, and all three are elements in what he referred to as "information liberación." Among the three, he said, is "patient-centric information exchange, as with the Blue Button program," a web-based program through which healthcare consumers will increasingly be able to download their health information and share it with providers and other trusted parties...